At least seven persons died and several others were injured on Wednesday in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh during a stampede at a public meeting of the Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, PTI reported citing police.

The incident took place soon after the former Andhra Pradesh chief minister arrived at the venue in Kandukur. To catch a glimpse of the politician, several persons pushed forward leading to a stampede-like situation.

To save themselves from the jostling, some of the persons jumped into a drainage canal nearby, reported The Indian Express. The fatalities occurred when more audience members jumped on them to escape the situation.

Naidu cancelled his rally soon after the incident and also announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh for the families of the deceased.

The Telugu Desam Party chief has been holding political rallies across the state in the run-up to the Assembly elections scheduled for 2024. The 72-year-old politician was holding the public meeting and roadshow in Nellore as part of his rally “Idemi Kharma Mana Rashtraniki” (Why is our state facing this fate?), reported the newspaper.